On Thursday, the Senate voted unanimously in a 99-0 vote to extend sanctions on Iran for another 10 years, just two weeks after the House approved extending sanctions in a 419-1 vote. The Iran Sanctions Extensions Act is aimed at ensuring that the United States maintains some leverage with the Islamic Republic following the implementation of the Iran Deal. The sanctions which will now be extended target Iran’s energy, military, and banking sectors. Currently, the sanctions are not in effect at all after the Obama Administration waived them for Iran’s compliance with the restrictions in the nuclear deal.
The ISEA bill will hit President Obama’s desk next, but the White House has not indicated whether he plans to pass or veto it. The ISEA would extend the sanctions first imposed on Iran in 1996 aimed at hurting their economy to attempt to halt their development of nuclear weapons.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week that “preserving these sanctions is critical given Iran’s disturbing pattern of aggression and its persistent efforts to expand its sphere of influence across the Middle East.”
“This is even more important given how the current administration has been held hostage by Tehran’s threats to withdraw from the nuclear agreement, and how it has ignored Iran’s overall efforts to upset the balance of power in the greater Middle East,” he continued.
Iran has expressed that any increased sanctions would lead to “retaliation” against the U.S.. Last month, Khamenei spoke in front of a bunch of the members of the Revolutionary Guard following the House’s passing of the extension and said that the current U.S. government “has breached the nuclear deal in many occasions.”
“The latest is extension of sanctions for 10 years, that if it happens, would surely be against JCPOA, and the Islamic Republic would definitely react to it,” he continued. He also tweeted a similar sentiment.
“If this sanction is implemented, this is definitely a violation of the agreement, without any doubt,” Ayatollah Khamenei said on state run television. “And they should know that the Islamic Republic will definitely react towards it.”